Tuesday, October 19, 2004


A romantic's idea: that life is exciting, an adventure, that each day brings something new. And each day does, in fact, bring something new doesn't it? Just as a supermarket restocks its shelves each and every day, filling in bare spots, making all the boxes and cans line up nicely, tidying up the pyramids of oranges and tomatoes, so, too, does life. Sure everything is different - but it's also the same.

Take that half-hour subway trip to work every weekday morning; it may be a different train, but it's an exact replica of all the others you've travelled on. What about your fellow passengers? Different people, to be sure, but do you even notice? Does their uniqueness matter? Think of that tomato pyramid in the supermarket; different tomatoes every day. Same pyramid.

You get to work, (after stopping to pick up a medium coffee, one cream, one sugar, and a muffin. You change things up and get the chocolate chip instead of the bran, and this just might be the most exciting [and, indeed, most important] decision you make today), and you take your place in the sea of cubicles. On your first day of work you were excited to see your cubicle - your own little area! Almost an office! You decided you would personalise it by bringing in pictures of family and pets. You put up a wacky Dilbert calendar. A few motivational posters make their way onto the half-walls. You have a joke coffee mug. Your cubicle has become so very unique that it looks just like all the others.

After work you go out for drinks with some co-workers. You order a beer, a premium beer, in fact, but you order the same beer every day. Sorry, scratch that - different beer, different mug, but it looks and tastes the same as every other beer you've ordered. You don't know it, but the waitress is pouring your drinks as your group walks up the sidewalk. (Between 5:35 and 5:45 each evening.) After a few pints, your group likes to argue politics. You have the same debate every day, and nobody seems to wonder why nothing is ever solved. Nobody ever wins or loses. And nobody cares.

You go home later and eat something prefabricated and showered in microwaves. Then you waste time until you sleep. By wasting time I mean you surf the net, you play computer games, you read books of questionable intellectual value, you watch reality television, and you sit out on your balcony drinking and watching people lead far more interesting lives than you. Sometimes you sit on the couch and do nothing at all.

Ah yes, life is an adventure isn't it? Lately you've been cluing in though; the monotony is finally getting to you. You decide you're going to do something different this year - you're going to the Bahamas. You're getting a package deal. It's just better that way; you don't have to worry about booking your own flight, you don't have to concern yourself with picking out a hotel, and hell, you don't even have to worry about buying your own food or drinks.

A prefab getaway for a prefab person living a prefab life.

That is, until you meet your prefab end.

When you die, your loved ones will order you the #7 funeral special; a nice white-lacquered coffin, (made by the thousand-lot in someplace in the Midwest), and their choice of either the #46, the #33, or the #17 flower arrangements. Of course they'll get to look through some catalogues first to make sure the flower colours complement your box.

Then it's off to your prefab afterlife. Enjoy, sucker!

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